LAHORE - Amid the tense situation prevailing in the Model Town area of the provincial metropolis on Friday, Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri termed the PML-N government ‘internal terrorist’ that blocked the roads, creating an acute scarcity of eatables in the area.
Addressing a press conference in front of his residence, Qadri said the area had been made Gaza and the PML-N rule was playing the role of Israel. He said thousands of PAT workers at the party secretariat had no food.
Referring to the placement of containers on the roads leading to PAT Secretariat and deployment of heavy contingents of police, he said, “The government is playing the role of Israel. I urge civil society of Lahore to bring food and water for his workers as they are here for bringing about a revolution for the masses.”
He asked his supporters to remove all obstacles and reach his residence for the future of the country and for their rights.
He said the police were raiding the houses of PAT workers and arresting them, including women, all over the province. He said the rulers would be held accountable for their deeds.
On the government’s point of view that it has blocked the roads for his security, Dr Qadri said the Punjab chief secretary and home secretary have threatened the private security companies to remove security from the PAT Secretariat and his residence.
Qadri asked the supporters of PTI and PAT to part ways with their leaders if they strike any deal with the rulers as the two leaders had pledged to topple the government. “PTI’s slogan is to end the government only, but I promise to change the whole system. I urge PTI and PAT workers to bring a revolution and support the long march,” he said. Qadri said he would announce the date for his revolution march after Youm-e-Shuhuda.
When asked about any possibility of negotiations with the government, he said only masses would hold talks with the rulers.
He congratulated the PAT workers who had reached the secretariat removing all the obstacles. He also asked them to continue reaching Lahore for bringing about a revolution and removing barriers as these had been placed unlawfully.
He also told newsmen that a large number of his workers in Bakkar, Darya Khan, Jhang and Kaloorkot had been arrested.
He warned the rulers to get worried about Jati Umra, the CM house and the assembly building; the revolutionary workers can ruin them. He again asked the police not to obey the rulers and remove the containers.
He said all the workers, whether from PAT or PTI, were his sons and daughters and comrades. He said if the dynasty of Sharifs did not come to an end now, nobody would stand against them in future.
He said: “It was the government of mad rulers. He said the holy shrine of Hazrat Sultan Bahoo and Khawaja Ghulam Fareed Palace in Kot Mithhon were cordoned off and raided as their custodians were the PAT office bearers.
Talking to media persons, PAT spokesman Qazi Faiz warned the government to remove the containers from the roads within two hours otherwise the party workers would remove them.
However, the situation deteriorated when fresh police contingents reached the spot and fired shells on the PAT workers.
Later, PML-Q chief Ch Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Elahi visited the residence of Tahirul Qadri to discuss the ongoing situation.
Addressing a press conference late night on Friday, Dr Tahirul Qadri said people had been deprived of their rights ensured by the Constitution. He said the rulers who committed violence lodged an FIR against the victims and added brutality had been committed on the direct orders of the chief executive of the province. He 14 PAT workers were killed and more than 90 injured seriously, but they remained peaceful. He made it clear that they were only observing the day of martyrs and he had urged the people to remain peaceful.
Qadri said if the Lahore High Court ordered removal of the containers from the roads, he guaranteed that his workers would remain peaceful.
He urged the administration to allow his workers to reach the PAT Secretariat as they would only recite the holy Quran for the martyrs. He questioned under what kind of democracy the government was stopping the people from remembering the martyrs.
He said a meeting of his allies was in progress and they would announce their next strategy on Saturday (today). He said they were not frightened, but questioned what the people would do when they had nothing to eat.
Talking to media persons outside Tahirul Qadri’s residence, PML-Q senior leader Chaudhary Perviaz Elahi said the powerful quarters of Rawalpindi would intervene if the government did not abandon its policy of violence. He said the rulers did not learn any lesson from the past.
He said they would continue their protest even for a month.